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Products from The Lake on display at a pop-up shop.

VAI YU LAW/Courtesy of manufacturer

Log onto Toronto-based website The Lake and you’ll reach a community and online shop dedicated to helping you find more pleasure in your day. According to co-founders and husband and wife Philippe and Bren Gauthier, the traditional definition of pleasure is rather narrow in scope, something they’re working on changing. “For me, it seemed there was just a bigger conversation to have on the role that pleasure can play in your overall life,” Bren says.

The idea for the Lake stemmed from Philippe’s experience working in the adult retail industry, where he observed that the shopping experience wasn’t adequately serving all members of the community, especially women. “I could see that when people were coming in, they were always encountering elements that didn’t make them feel comfortable. I wanted to create a space where they could come and feel at ease and be able to explore in a more holistic way rather than a performative way,” he says. Bren brought the idea to life and in September, 2019, they launched itsthelake.com, stocking the site with sustainable goods from female-founded companies and participating in pop-up shopping events.

Their assortment of goods goes beyond the bedroom to include items such as rose quartz facial gua sha stones, herbal salt bath soaks and skin care as well as loungewear and lingerie, jigsaw puzzles and candles. Their Body Exploration Devices (B.E.Ds.) were each selected for their ability to evoke pleasure by offering a relief from stress, a release of endorphins and a healthy form of self-soothing. “It’s just taking away the shame and discomfort about the topic and turning it into an overall topic of wellness. Pleasure forms part of that,” Bren says.

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The Lake, itsthelake.com.

Courtesy of manufacturer

Soft Focus The Classic Robe in Pink Mix, $245.

Courtesy of manufacturer

Iroha Temari in Mizu, $95.

Courtesy of manufacturer

Inner Piece Home Ray 500 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle, $49.

Style news

Earls Restaurants has launched a new service called Earls Grocery. This selection of staple items, cooking kits, produce and home accessories has been selected by Earls chefs and is available for pickup or delivery across the country. The packages are called Chef Kits, Grocery Packs, Grocery List and Home Essentials, and also include specialty options such as the Italian Style Pan Bread Kit and the Pizza Party Kit. In B.C., Alberta and Ontario, the Earls Liquor Store is stocked with spirits, wine, beer, cider and hard seltzers. Earls was founded in Edmonton in 1982 and now operates 66 locations across North America. For more information, visit earls.ca.

Nordstrom has launched its dedicated Canadian e-commerce site, nordstrom.ca. Shoppers based in Canada now have access to free standard shipping and returns, as well as duty-free purchases made in Canadian currency. They can also use the website to purchase Nordstrom gift cards and to enroll in Nordy Club, a rewards program for regular shoppers. Based in Seattle, Nordstrom carries a multi-brand selection of shoes, clothing, accessories, home goods and gifts. Nordstrom opened its first Canadian location in Calgary in 2014. It now has six Canadian locations as well as six Nordstrom Rack discount stores. For more information, visit nordstrom.ca.

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Canadian fashion companies are using their platforms to support medical professionals during the global pandemic. Intimate apparel brand Knix launched a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $250,000 to be used to purchase masks and gloves for hospital use and has created an online form where hospitals, clinics and non-profits can submit requests for supplies. Ardene is donating women’s sneakers and socks to hospitals across Canada for health care workers. Requests can be made at donations@ardene.com. And Endy has donated mattresses, pillows and mattress protectors to create comfortable sleeping quarters for the doctors and nurses at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

At-home fitness company Peloton has expanded its immersive, instructor-led workouts to new platforms. Its Peloton App can now be downloaded directly through Android TV, a version of Google’s Android operating system that is included on select televisions, eliminating the need for an external streaming device. In addition to its cycling and running content, the Peloton App features a wide variety of workouts including strength training, yoga, meditation, stretching and bootcamp-inspired workouts. Until Apr. 30, the Peloton App is available for an extended 90-day free trial. For more information, visit onepeloton.ca.

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